In the Triangle, an area known for entering recessions later and exiting them earlier, foreclosures continue to be a problem, as the rate dipped a tad in June but on the whole, remains above where it was last year at this time. For a market like ours, that's not a good sign.
Foreclosure and bankruptcy are often wound tightly together. In most cases, if a person can't pay their mortgage, a number of other bills are remaining unpaid as well. A lot of times it comes down to hard economic decisions. If it came down to a medical bill for a child or a mortgage payment, it's a safe assumption that the mortgage is going to be late this month.
Surprisingly, and most likely out of fear of the unknown, very few people actually call their bank when they realize that the mortgage is becoming a burden too difficult to bear. More often, the first step is to pay late or not at all and then wait for a notice to arrive to begin the discussion about what comes next. Sometimes, your bank could help you before needing you to enroll you in a mortgage modification program, at which point you become just another number to the bank on a call queue and another statistic to the evening news. Being proactive, just like in bankruptcy, can help you tremendously when it comes to getting your mortgage under control.
The News & Observer reported that foreclosure filings in the counties of Durham, Johnston and Wake totaled 4,433 for the first half of 2010, a 24 percent jump from the same point in 2009. That's a healthy spike, to be sure. Even with Wake County reporting only 443 foreclosures (a 20 percent decrease from last year's June count) the county as a whole is higher than it was for the January to June period of 2009. Durham County's foreclosure rate is higher by 10 percent for June and experienced a 35 percent increase for the first six months of 2010 in comparison with the first half of 2009.
The N&O notes that a foreclosure filing is only the start of the foreclosure process and that not every filing equals an official foreclosure. However, it still means that somewhere, a family is having a very hard time making ends meet, which is not a good sign for an economy believed to be in recovery. And it's even worse for a regional economy that on a national basis is believed to be healthier than most.
In many real estate markets across the country, foreclosures are what lead the housing sales market. More agents are fielding calls from parties, either families or investors, looking to get in on the bottom of the housing cycle. Buying a foreclosure is not a real simple process often requiring a good deal of cash. Thus, it's a niche market. In the end, real recovery in the housing market is going to take mainstream, mass-market buyers. That is, families with jobs. And today, there are just too few of them.
If you're facing foreclosure, call a Bankruptcy attorney today. A Chapter 13 can help you stay in your home and possibly lower your monthly payment. Call 1-888-234-4181 today for a free consultation.